|From Ron Cummings:
"Bob Falcon describes
Whitey's torsion suspension below. Basically he used Lord, the company
who manufactured the parts, rubber WW2 radial airplane motor mounts as
torsion bars. Dick Hughes' still has the system on the front of Whitey's
midget, but he replaced the rears with conventional steel torsion bars
during the car's restoration. That car is on display at Justice Brothers.
I think Perry Grimm was the driver that made Whitey's Kurtis-Offenhauser
so famous. I am not too familiar with midget history, so I could be wrong.
The Solitary Wasp still has Whitey's system."
From Bob Falcon:
"The suspension system
was named "Torsilastic" and as I recall one of the magazines of the day
did an extensive story on Whitey and the product. It may have been
Hot Rod Magazine... But I don't think they made any refer- ence to the
use of an aircraft engine mount.
Whitey gave me an extensive
description of the system and the benefits... Unfortunately the Midget
community felt the steel torsion bars were the way to go. All these
people who had bought the early Kurtis Midgets out- fitted with quarter
elliptic spring front suspensions were having problems and grabbing at
straws for a solution. Also in that era, the "Gold Radiator Cap Syndrome"
was in full swing! (??? TM)
The Torsilastic system
was about five inches overall and had a very neat machined aluminum arm
attached to one end of the steel tube that was bonded into the rubber cushion
that separated the outer steel tube from the inner tube. The unit
was quite simple and afforded the ability to preload the rubber through
the use of a small worm gear on the aft end of the assembly.
I'll draw you a sketch when we meet up next.
The best source for the
replacement mounts in this day and age is a company located in Sun Valley
CA named Aircraft Cylinder. They are the largest source of new and used
spares, and complete radial engines, as used in WW2.
Lord Mount, who made the
original parts ceased production decades ago, but as a supplier of radial
engine spare parts, Aircraft Cylinder probably has an aftermarket source
supplying the same thing. The mount would have to be adapted to the Torsilastic